Back to articles

When To Get A Flu Shot?: Peak Season, Antibodies, Needle Free Injections


Is it too late to get the flu shot?

Prepare your family

The Centers for Disease Control and PREVENTION recommends  that anyone ages 6 months and older get the flu shot each year. That means even your littlest family members are probably eligible to be vaccinated in preparation for flu season.

“For children ages 6 months to 8 years who have never had the flu shot before or have only had one dose in the past, we recommend getting two doses of the flu vaccine this year to provide the level of protection they need,” says Amber Gilmore, MD, a primary care physician at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley. “They should get their second dose four weeks after the first, which means it’s important for parents to take their kids to get vaccinated early in the season, so they’re fully protected by the time the flu is spreading in the community.”

5 things to know about the flu shot

1. A flu shot can protect you from getting sick with the flu or reduce the likelihood of severe illness and hospitalization if you do get sick.

2. It takes about two weeks after vaccination to be fully protected by antibodies, so plan to get your shot early — peak flu season occurs [TM2] from December to March.

3. The flu vaccine is designed to protect you from the four major strains of the flu that are likely to be the most common in the upcoming flu season.

4. The likelihood of hospitalization from the flu is reduced for people who get a flu vaccine, so it is especially important for people with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, children and elderly adults.

5. Flu shot vs nasal spray. There’s a needle-free nasal version for eligible people.

Is it too late to get the flu shot?

Do the COVID-19 vaccines protect against flu?

COVID-19 and influenza share many symptoms, but the viruses that cause them are different. For this reason, Adventist Health recommends getting your annual flu shot in addition to the COVID-19 vaccination. Why?

“The COVID-19 vaccines are effective in protecting fully vaccinated people against severe cases of the virus, but it was created to fight SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, not influenza,” says James Avalos, a nurse practitioner at Redwood Medical Clinic. “Your best bet at avoiding illness in the coming year is being fully vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu.”

Be prepared for flu season

Ask about getting the flu shot at your next appointment with an Adventist Health provider. Call 833-AH-WELLNESS (Willits and Ukiah) or 707-961-4631 (Fort Bragg) to schedule a visit.